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Deer Grass

Muhlenbergia rigens Deer Grass
Category Accent
Size 4' x 4'
Flower Color Green, Dries to Tan Color
Flower Season Fall
Exposure Full Sun or Part Shade
Water Low
Growth Rate Fast
Hardiness 0°F
Notes: Tall flower spikes in fall


Deer grass is a dependable and adaptable ornamental grass found in many desert gardens. The lush grass-like foliage softens boulders and cactus. Native to the southwest U.S. and Mexico, Muhlenbergia rigens makes an ideal accent plant for use around water features. In the fall, deer grass sends up tall, slender flower spikes that dry to a tan color. Flowering creates a stunning contrast to the luxuriant foliage.


Deer Grass flourishes in full sun and difficult reflected heat exposures. It even tolerates quite a bit of shade. It is extremely drought tolerant, although the foliage browns if adequate water is not available during the summer. Water newly planted deer grass every three days for a month, then weekly through the first summer. Water established plants every 2-3 weeks in summer. Rely on rainfall in the winter.

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